UF-IFAS Faculty Council Meeting Minutes
27 June 2007
Animal Sciences Bldg., Room 102
Individuals present: Fritz Roka, Mike Kane, Gail Kauwell, Mike Sweat, Judy Butterfield, Bill
Lindberg, Elizabeth Bolton, Heather McAuslane, Tom Obreza, Jimmy Cheek, and Jeff Mullahey
in Gainesville; Jude Grosser in Lake Alfred and Samira Daroub in Belle Glade via Polycom
Committee chair Fritz Roka called the meeting to order at 1:35 PM.
Jeff Mullahey was "shadowing" Dr. Cheek on this day as part of his involvement with the Food
System Leadership Institute. Dr. Mullahey explained that the objective of this Institute is to teach
leadership style, organizational change, etc. within the framework of food systems. Dr. Cheek
was acting as his mentor in the program.
Report from Dr. Cheek:
UF has a budget deficit problem as a result of the recent Florida legislative session. The
increased budget allocation due to enrollment growth was the smallest he has seen
since being at UF. Funds allocated to other forms of campus growth were also few and
far between. The budget was subjected to more "takeaways" than receipt of new money,
which created the deficit. The proposed 5% tuition increase was vetoed by Governor
Stemming from the deficit situation, President Machen indicated he would soon be
announcing a hiring freeze. The door will be left open for appeals to hire workers in
critically important positions. Hires on grant funds should be able to go forward as usual.
We all agree that every IFAS position is "critically important," thus a prioritization
exercise will take place to decide which position hires will be appealed.
County budget cuts have occurred across the state as well, varying in size depending on
factors like county growth and how individual counties craft their budgets. Some extra
dollars may be forced from IFAS to the counties if certain permanent positions are cut.
The statewide vote on property tax reduction scheduled for 29 Jan 2008 will be critical
for the future of county funding.
At the state level, tax revenues are not being collected as rapidly as projected, which is
creating a revenue shortfall. Other states are also experiencing the same thing. We do
not know exactly what impact this shortfall will have in Florida. The upcoming hiring
freeze represents part of UF's preparation for future budget shortfalls.
Although a tuition increase will not occur this year, it appears there is a strong possibility
of an increase next year to help increase revenue. A discussion ensued about tax
revenues, where they do and do not come from, and speculation on the future situation.
Regarding the just-completed state legislative session, IFAS had its poorest budget year
since 2004. On the federal budget allocation front, we are trying to re-establish earmarks
that were cut. Dr. Cheek and Cindy Littlejohn will travel to Washington, DC in a week to
attempt to save earmarks like TSTAR and the citrus initiative. Dr. Cheek believes we will
come out better on the federal budget side compared with years past.
The subject of mentoring new faculty was discussed. Several years ago, William Fleming issued
an edict asking each IFAS unit to develop a plan of how new faculty would be mentored. In
2004, IFAS certified to the university provost office that this task was accomplished.
Dr. Cheek reported results from the 2007 tenure and promotion process. Thirty-nine IFAS
faculty received T&P, which represented 40% of the entire UF faculty group that were
successful. Only two IFAS faculty were denied. One person that applied for full professor did not
make it, but all the others were supported. This information can be found on the UF Board of
Trustees web site. There was substantial diversity in IFAS T&P packets submitted this year (e.g.
from heavy teaching to heavy extension assignments), yet almost everyone made it through. Dr.
Cheek thinks this result negates the "horror stories" about the T&P process that circulate among
IFAS faculty, and asked how we can help get this word out. Gail Kauwell suggested that the
story could be told at the upcoming teaching symposium, particularly how successful IFAS was
in the T&P process this year.
Regarding the shared governance survey, 204 responses to our web survey had been received
as of noon today. Ryan Mills opined that this was a rather extraordinary number considering the
complexity of the survey instrument.
Jude Grosser asked if there was any effort by UF to interact directly with Governor Crist to
influence his thoughts on higher education. Dr. Cheek indicated that the university is indeed
heading in that direction.
A discussion ensued about entrepreneurialship and how IFAS can increase this type of activity.
Becoming more entrepreneurial is one of the things Dr. Machen would like to see us do. There
was a discussion of examples of entrepreneurial activities that IFAS does do and could do. Jeff
Mullahey talked about developing miniature research parks associated with Research and
Education Centers, from which entrepreneurial activities could emanate. A question was raised
regarding the UF Office of Technology and Licensing and how to interact with them. It was
suggested that we should try to get Bruce Clary of OTL to speak at various IFAS symposia (e.g.
research, extension) because we do not take that tack very often and people are not aware of
the possibilities. Dr. Cheek reinforced the idea of following up on the entrepreneurial charge.
The group reviewed the Faculty Council election and appointees. Elected members are Brenda
Rogers, Monica Elliott, David Norman, Sherry Larkin, and Billy Crow. Appointed members are
Maisie Ross and Bola Adesogan. Returning for their second year on the council are elected
members David Holmes, Steve Johnson, and Mike Kane, and appointed members Samira
Daroub and Tom Obreza. Nick Place was an elected member who was slated to return, but he
needs to be replaced because he has left UF for a position at the Univ. of Maryland.
The group also reviewed the new IFAS Tenure & Promotion committee. Returning members are
Rebecca Darnell, Linda Bobroff, and Lance Osborne (appointed) and P. K. Nair and Bob
McSorley (elected). Newly-elected members are Jeff Jones, Barry Brecke, Bill Schall, and Celia
Hill (1 year only). Newly-appointed members are Nick Comerford, Sharon Treen, and Richard
At this point, Dr. Cheek, Jeff Mullahey, Jude Grosser, and Samira Daroub left the meeting and
the group took a break.
After the break, the minutes from the 23 May 2007 Faculty Council meeting were reviewed,
amended for accuracy/clarification, and accepted by the council.
The group felt that since Judy Butterfield and Bill Lindberg are members of the Faculty Senate
as well as the Faculty Council, we should have a standard "update from the senate" agenda at
future Faculty Council meetings.
A discussion ensued about how future elections for the council and committees could be run
more smoothly, particularly the nomination process.
Another discussion ensued about the shared governance process and examples of where a
regimented system could have helped. One of the major themes was communication and the
need for improvement in this area. Could Dr. Cheek issue a regular bulletin to the faculty
describing what happens in his office? Should we suggest this to him?
Elizabeth Bolton initiated a discussion of the committee to be formed that will work with the
latest IFAS constitution draft. It might be a good idea if the council provides input
(recommendations) regarding the five members representing IFAS administration who are
placed on the committee, e.g. supply specific names for consideration. Tom Obreza reviewed
the 18 Oct 2006 Faculty Council minutes, which stated "Dr. Cheek suggested that he and Dr.
Roka share responsibility for filling the committee with 10 to 13 members." Therefore, committee
appointments are a joint responsibility, so it seems that it would not be inappropriate if the
council suggested potential members from both the administration and faculty groups.
Action item for the 17 July 2007 Faculty Council meeting: Develop our list of recommended
individuals as outlined above. At this point, the group began to suggest names that were
recorded by Heather McAuslane. It was left up to Fritz Roka to decide if we should send the list
to Dr. Cheek indicating our intention to volunteer names for consideration.
Regarding the shared governance survey, Ryan Mills will be directed to summarize the
responses and then send the summary to Faculty Council members.
Our next meeting is Tuesday, July 17th. Another reminder is that on August 28th, we are invited
to dinner hosted by Dr. Cheek at the President's house. Spouses are invited.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:33 PM.
Submitted by Thomas Obreza, Recording Secretary